This article is by Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
Indian squill is a spice used in Asian subcontinental regions. Its bulbs are used in animal health care and to prepare pain killer oils by traditional healers.
Botanical name – Urginea indica.
Sanskrit synonyms: Vanapalandu, Kolakanda.
Indian squill resembles onion and commonly found wildly. Hence the name Vanapalandu.
It is commonly found near sea shores and back water area. Punjab, Bengal and Madhyapradesh are common habitat states.
The bulbs possess Sillinine, a toxic principle. Calcium oxalate and citrates are also reported to be present in small amount.
Pungent in taste, hot in potency.
It is Vatakapha shamaka and Pittavardhaka in nature.
It is avoided in high Pitta conditions such as headache, gastric ulcers, oesophagitis, metrorrhagia, bleeding disorders etc.
In Siddha system, it is used after purification. They purify bulbs by soaking it in milk for overnight and washing it with hot water. Folk people use it by baking in fire or charcoal.
Read related: Indian Squill Urginea indica Uses, Research, Side Effects
Home remedies using Indian squill:
Urticaria, allergic hives
Fine paste of bulb and turmeric in urticarial rashes, allergic hives and itching:
Bulb of Vanapalandu and turmeric are taken in equal amount and fine paste is made. This is applied over skin in cases like urticarial rashes, insect bite, scorpion sting, itching etc.
Cold, cough, asthma
Bulb juice with honey for cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis:
The bulb is kept over fire/charcoal and baked for 3-5 minutes. The juice is obtained by squeezing. This is mixed with honey or jaggery. A teaspoon of it is licked 4-5 times a day. This acts as a good expectorant and relieves cold, cough, asthma and bronchitis.
Neuralgia, muscle pain
Remedy for neuralgia and muscle pain:
Equal amount of black pepper, garlic and colve and 5 parts of bulb of Vanapalandu are taken and crushed well to make into fine paste. This paste is slightly warmed and applied over body parts in neuralgia, headache and deep muscle pain.
Leaf decoction for fomentation/pouring in muscular pain:
Freshly obtained leaves are made into decoction. This is poured over body parts, especially over muscles in cases of deep muscular pains.5-6 days fomentation gives good relief.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1cup, filtered.
Antidote for poisoning
People often confuse regarding onion and Indian squill (wild onion); in such cases it may be fatal. So, in case of toxicity vomiting, headache, fever, fatigue, chest pain etc features may be observed. Large amount of warm water intake is advised. In severity of illness gastric lavage may be essential. Onion juice with jaggery or sugar candy may be used as antidote for this drug, if ill effects are observed.